By Dan Walton
Many locals were distraught to hear of a near-tragic car accident near Wasa that involved a couple who are well-known in the valley, former Invermere residents Jenn and Ryan Butter Karl, and the communitys response was anything but passive. Ryan Karl has been left in
disbelief by the outpour of generousity.
We have lasagna, beef on a bun the (donated) food is amazing, he told The Pioneer. All the support has been a big help; its unbelievable people care so much.
Investigators said that a dump truck had pulled onto Highway 93/95 from the community of Wasa and proceeded north. The Karls minivan was also travelling north and, according to Jenn, the truck entered their lane and the two vehicles collided several hundred metres north of the intersection. The Karls van was struck on the passengers side.
The Kimberley RCMP detachments report on the
accident later described Jenns injuries as serious, but not life threatening.
In the aftermath, Ryan said he helped Jenn as best he could before the arrival of the first responders. Once on scene, the Kimberley Fire Department Road Rescue applied the jaws of life to the vehicle, and a STARS
helicopter transported Jenn from the scene.
The couple were both released from the hospital last week and are recovering at their home in Calgary, but the accident has made everyday life a challenge.
Its difficult with the kids around but were making do, said Ryan.
The couple have two children, five-year-old Harley and six-year-old Jaxson.
Friend of the family Sarah Megaffin took to Facebook to lend as best a hand as she could.
I am in Invermere collecting baking, meals or non perishable items for the Karls this weekend as it will be a tough go for a while at home in Calgary, she posted, which resulted in an overwhelmingly positive response.
Ryan said Sarah has been an absolute angel for how shes been able to help the family and that its a definite miracle that Jenn survived the crash. Wearing a seatbelt was critical for both Ryan and Jenn, and Jenn had one more factor in her favour.
If she had not laid her seat back for sleeping, she would have had a huge piece of metal go right into her face, Ryan said.
Though the cause of the accident has yet to be determined, Ryan reminds everyone that distracted driving law was enacted for a reason.
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